By Jasmine Grotto
Two weeks ago, the Detroit Lions kicked off their 2013 season in the community with Meet Up & Eat Up with the Lions at Eastern Market. So far, Detroit Public Schools students from Academy of the Americas and Marcus Garvey Academy have made the trip to Eastern Market to learn about healthy eating and staying active.
This weekly program, taking place on Tuesdays, builds upon last year’s inaugural Living for the City Lunch with the Lions program. This year’s event includes appearances by Detroit Lions alumni, snack preparation demonstrations by Ford Field Executive Chef, Joe Nader, tours through the Eastern Market Tuesday Market, recess activities led by Playworks Detroit and lessons about how food impacts the body from Wayne State University School of Medicine students.
In the first two weeks, students have talked about healthy eating and active living, engaged in Playworks Detroit activities and shopped the market with Detroit Lions all-time greats, former tackle and pro bowler Lomas Brown during week one and former wide receiver and four-time pro bowler Herman Moore during week two.
Each week, following the alumnus’ question-and-answer session, Liz Kohn, associate director of development for Fair Food Network gives students a presentation about the Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks program, which allows SNAP benefit recipients to double their locally grown produce purchases by matching up to $20 in produce purchases per day.
Then, led by United Way for Southeastern Michigan volunteers, students tour Eastern Market’s Tuesday Market and, using Double Up Food Bucks tokens, purchased locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
Following their farmers-market shopping experience, the students are then treated to a snack demo by Ford Field Executive Chef, Joe Nader. His biggest lesson for the kids each week is “Eat the rainbow.” Chef Nader’s fruit salsa from week one and his fruit-and-vegetable smoothies from week two incorporated a variety of produce in a range of colors. He also advises students to remember the adage when preparing snacks and meals at home.
Following his demo, Chef Joe and his sous chef take the time to distribute samples and talk to the students in smaller groups about healthy eating.
Finally wrapping up the event, students from the Wayne State University School of Medicine highlight the parallels between healthy eating and its impact on the body and mind. Their presentation specifically focuses on food’s impact on the body and they bring actual organs to show students what healthy organs look like.
Meet Up & Eat Up will continue weekly through October 15 in Shed 5 at Eastern Market. In partnership with United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Fair Food Network, Gleaners Community Food Bank, Eastern Market Corp., Playworks Detroit and Wayne State School of Medicine, the Detroit Lions are proud to continue to bring awareness and help fight against food insecurity in Detroit.
For more information about Living for the City or Meet Up & Eat Up with the Lions, visit DetroitLions.com/community.